n Management Dynamics : Journal of the Southern African Institute for Management Scientists - The influence of organisational factors on successful succession in family businesses

Volume 12, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1019-567X



Family businesses are fast becoming the dominant form of business enterprise in both developing and developed economies. As family businesses are a primary contributor to the economic and social well-being of all capitalist societies, their general lack of longevity is a cause for concern. One of the main reasons (if not the single most important reason) of the high failure rate among first- and second-generation family businesses is their inability to manage the complex process of ownership and management succession from one generation to the next. Hence, the primary objective of this study is to identify the organisational and organisational-related factors that impact on successful succession. The results indicate that the financial security of the family business and that of the owner-manager, as well as family members' acceptance of their collective and individual roles in the context of the family business, are important to the success of succession for both owner-managers and successors. Furthermore, if estate planning is undertaken and the successor is externally prepared to take over the family business, the prospects of the continued profitability of the business improve significantly.

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